Join local artists in the Museum’s Heritage Garden as they create original works and explore different mediums, drawing inspiration from the luscious garden landscape. Bring a picnic and your creative spirit. All events are on Tuesday afternoons from 12 to 3 pm. Events are free. Donations appreciated. (There could be last minute changes in presented artists.)

Thank You, Artists!

Photo Laura Balducci; Artwork Bobbie-Gene Hanson

The Museum’s summer program, Art in the Garden, tirelessly organized by our Events & Programs Coordinator Laura Balducci, was a great success! The program engaged many visitors and locals, from kids to seniors, in hands-on art activities.

We would like to thank all the artists:  Jane Newman, Kristen Sholfield-Sweet, Donna Naven, Kathleen Pemberton, Filipe Figueira, Meinsje Vlaming and Bobbie-Gene Hanson who graced the Heritage Garden with their wonderful artworks.  We are also grateful for the support of Helene Racine, Lisa Gibbons and Judith Williams who, because of unforeseen circumstances, were not able to be featured in the garden as we had all hoped and planned.

Thank you so much, and we look forward to another summer with artists in our garden.

August Events

— Filipe Figueira – August 2, 2022 – Painting

— Meinsje Vlaming – August 9, 2022 – Painting

— Judith Williams – August 16, 2022 – Water Colour

— Bobbie-Gene Hanson – August 23, 2022 – Wood Flower Painting

July Events

— July 5, 2022 – Jane Newman, Assemblage

— July 12, 2022 – Kristen Sholfield-Sweet, Drum Painting

— July 19 , 2022 – Donna Naven, Stone Carving

— July 26, 2022 – Kathleen Pemberton, Painting


Completed 2022 Art in the Garden Events

Big thank you to all the artists for your wonderful work!

August 23, 2022 – Bobbie-Gene Hanson – Wood Flower Painting


Bobbie-Gene is a floral artist specializing in wood flowers (sola flowers). They look like real flowers and last a lifetime. Sola flowers may be stronger than real flowers, but they are still fragile, so a delicate touch is required.

Bobbie-Gene was drawn to sola wood flowers because they are a natural and sustainable alternative to cut flowers, and they are available year-round. Natural sola wood is shaped into petals and formed into blossoms. These flowers are made from wood so knots and veining will be visible on the petals. This adds to the uniqueness of this natural product. With each arrangement uniquely designed, no two pieces will ever be the same.

With many different flower varieties, the colour possibilities are endless. She hand-paints each flower drawing inspiration for her pieces from the natural beauty that surrounds us on Cortes Island.

Cancelled-August 16, 2022 – Judith Williams – Water / Colour

We apologize, but this event, August 16, is cancelled. Please see Judith’s art at the Old Schoolhouse Gallery starting August 23.


Judith Williams, an artist and writer living on Cortes Island, has painted all her adult life.

Judy and her husband Robert (Bobo) Fraser helped form the Refuge Cove Land and Housing Coop on West Redonda Island in 1972.  Forty works were painted about the life there and exhibited in the Vancouver, Victoria, and contemporary art galleries (CAG) and are in the collections of the Federal Art Bank, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Vancouver City Art Collection, and the B.C. Provincial Art Collection. “Dynamite Stories” is about the community, coastal life and dynamite.

She began teaching in the UBC Art History and Studio program in 1981. Her first book High Slack was published in 1990 after the installation High Slack at the UBC Museum of Anthropology. Another book, Two Wolves at the Dawn of Time, featured documentation of Marianne Nicholson painting a contemporary pictograph near the village on Gwai Yi in Kingcome Inlet. Clam Gardens was published in 2002 and Cougar Companions in 2019.

The water paintings in Judy’s current work, Water/Colour, were shown at the Tidal Art Centre in Lund in July 2022 and will be restaged August 26 at the Schoolhouse Gallery on Cortes Island.

August 9, 2022 – Meinsje Vlaming – Painting

I live and work on Cortes Island as an independent artist in many disciplines.

My art education is best described as autodidact, self-taught, selecting myself the courses I felt were needed in my development as an artist

I have worked and studied as a painter, sculptor, costume designer, jewellery maker, mask maker, prop designer and maker, puppeteer, yoga teacher, dance teacher and performer, clown, and emerging mime.

Recent I discovered Tonalisme, and intensely studied this expressive painting method

“Tonalism” is the name that was eventually given to the art movement popularized in the late 1800s by American landscape painters. Tonalism is a way of painting landscapes that is characterized by soft, blurred lines, gentle use of colors in the mid-range of tones and values, and an elegantly simple composition. For many Tonalist painters, the use of this style was inspired by the philosophers and Transcendentalist ideas popular in America at the time Tonalism began. By painting a landscape in this certain way, artists sought to transform the portrayal of a landscape into something that might elicit a spirit of contemplation and introspection from the viewer, turning it into a tranquil and meditative device.  — Meinsje


To see pictures from this event, please check this Facebook album.

August 2, 2022 – Filipe Figueira – Painting


Filipe’s foray into painting was a silver lining of the COVID pandemic. He is still exploring the process, using mostly oils and oil pastels, enjoying the meditative rhythm of applying paint to canvas and hoping that the brush strokes continue to dance on the canvas after he is finished. At this moment he’s interested in pushing the boundaries between an honest portrayal of the subject with a sense of abstraction and bold minimalist strokes.

July 5, 2022 – Jane Newman – Assemblage

Jane practices various visual arts mediums. She loves to explore the natural and wilderness areas in this remote part of the West Coast. In her small studio on Cortes Island she paints (acrylic) and creates mixed media work in an attempt to express the energy of the land. In her outdoor studio/shed she puts together assemblages with the intent to breathe new life into overlooked, discarded and found objects.

July 19, 2022 – Lisa Gibbons – Painting – Event Cancelled

This event is cancelled. We apologize and hope to see Lisa in the future.
My artwork reflects my relationship with the natural world and with the mystery and unseen forces and elements of our world.  Art tells me something about how humans learn from wild nature. My depictions of animals are vehicles of healing for me, and hopefully for the viewer. These animals represent “messengers,” who bring back the lost relationships between nature and the human world.
 I have always felt inspired by the lush coastal landscape of the Salish Sea, where I grew up and raised my own children. The movements of land, water, and air provide inspiration for a new artistic direction, utilizing oil paint and gold leaf on canvas. My heart feels at home in these islands seascapes, where I have always experienced a primal relationship between the human world and the wild world of invisible, ancient, and eternal  realms of life. — Lisa


July 12, 2022 – Kristen Scholfield-Sweet – Drum Painting

I consider myself trained by Nature to make drums. From drums I have learned to trust the wisdom of direct experience, the subtlety of tension, the discipline of perseverance, and knowing in the hands more than in the mind.

One evening I sat with a newly dried drum, its patterned surface illuminated with candlelight. I gazed at it as one might do with clouds on a summer’s day. Gradually shapes took form and startlingly began to move. A story unfolded – one image transforming into the next: bears emerging from caves, skinny men falling down holes, bodies reconfiguring into something other. This has ever since been my relationship with beginning a drum painting. I watch the drum face without asking to be shown anything, and images emerge. Creatures come, their eyes sparkle, we agree to see each other. — Kristen

Learn with Kristen how to invite the other than human world to show themselves, then paint a portrait of what appears on a deerskin disk with raw earth pigments.

July 19, 2022 – Donna Naven – Stone Carving

Donna Naven’s self-taught mastery of carving stone began in 2005, inspired by work from the Neolithic era, simplicity at its best. The humor and playfulness that one finds in the pieces, also comes with a heart connection. She often adds copper for the eyes, cedar, bone, wood, or shell to complete a piece. The minimalist and mysterious effects created by carving earth rocks merges with an awe-inspiring magnificence of life-spirit imparted to the stone.

Donna has a deep appreciation for the strength and presence of stone. Because of its great permanence as an art medium, she relates to stone with a profound respect. That kind of permanence has both a long history and long future; something Donna thinks about each time a piece finds a new home in the world. Even after a decade of developing her craft, she still marvels at the magic of discovery.

See more of Donna’s work at

July 26, 2022 – Kathleen Pemberton – Painting

I am an artist on Cortes Island.
I am a maker. I make things. Meeting the creative urge.
I dabble in many different disciplines of art.
Painting is one of my favourites.
I love paint and colour and often paint.
Scenes mostly of what I see
Painting by observation / hand / eye coordination / drawing with the brush.
I try to be quick just trying to catch a glimpse.
I hope you enjoy my work when you see it
And maybe recognize the local views.

See you at the Cortes Museum.

— Kathleen

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